Mel talks to Seoras Wallace


During the filming, Seoras Wallace was the leader of the members of the Wallace clan who were involved in the making of Braveheart.


Here is an interesting interview with Mel Gibson published when ''Braveheart'' 
was first released.  Note:  "the rainiest part of Scotland" mentioned below 
is the glen where Wallace and Murrin lived, near a Highland town called Fort William.  
It's the rainiest place in Europe, not just Scotland.  In real life Wallace lived 
in the Lowlands, and Murrin was killed in her house in a town which had much
more civilized streets and houses than the primitive shanty town straggling 
across a barren hillside that was shown in the movie.

       BY MAL VINCENT, MOVIE CRITIC
       Copyright (c) 1995, Landmark Communications Inc.

       BRAVEHEART'' took two years to make, cost more than $60 million, has
       3,000 men on horseback, required 6,000 costumes and was shot in the
       rainiest part of Scotland.

       So why did Mel Gibson decide to produce, direct and star in it, wearing a
       kilt, no less?

       He shook his head.

       ''It was something that wouldn't leave me alone,'' he said. ''When I was
       growing up, I loved this kind of movie -- romance, death, swashbuckling. I
       liked 'Spartacus,' 'A Man for All Seasons,' 'El Cid.' The movies of the '50s
       were great, and of the '70s. But I think the '60s missed out on something.

       ''Anyway, I never quite saw the movie that I wanted. This is the movie I
       wanted to see.''

       The result is a spectacle set in 13th century Scotland, with Gibson as
       William Wallace, the national hero who led his people against England's King
       Edward I. The movie opens today.

       He was at Los Angeles' Four Seasons Hotel the morning after its premiere --
       and was noticeably relieved.

       ''I was prepared for everyone to hate it,'' he said. ''I didn't know if
       they'd stay put.''

       The jury is still out on the film, which is nearly three hours long. Theater
       owners and investors would have liked it shorter, but, sounding more like a
       director, Gibson, 39, said he'd cut all he could.

       ''Some 90-minute movies seem like three hours,'' he said. ''I think this one
       seems shorter than it is. The original cut would have gotten an NC-17
       rating. I toned down the violence, but we're showing 13th century battles
       here.

       ''This shouldn't be a comfortable movie. Ball and chain is not a gentle way
       to fight. The object, you know, is to bash the brains out of the other
       guy.''

       Gibson's Icon Productions made the film; it's the same company that produced
       ''Maverick,'' his ''Hamlet,'' the Beethoven biography ''Immortal Beloved''
       and his directorial debut, ''The Man Without a Face.''

       ''It's my own production company because it's often the only way I can get
       the pictures made,'' Gibson said. ''Jodie (Foster) has her own company.
       Kevin (Costner) has his own. At first, people thought it was a vanity
       outfit. I had to prove I was serious. I chose a little picture (''Man
       Without a Face'') for the first time out. Then this one. It was anything but
       little.''

       The set, according to everyone involved, was a playpen.

       ''He likes to do 10 takes for a scene, and he'll yell, in the middle of a
       serious scene, 'Your zipper's undone,' '' said Angus McFadyen, who plays
       Robert the Bruce. ''I knew better, because the costumes didn't have any
       zippers.''

       ''If you can't have fun making a picture, you shouldn't make it,'' Gibson
       said. ''We tried to be historically accurate, but half of what is known
       about William Wallace is legend anyway. Most of it comes from a poem by a
       blind poet known as Blind Harry, so why not put a little wit in it?

       ''Sure, there was a lot of stress. Then it rained all the time -- never
       stopped. (The) only thing I could do was use it. The picture has a moody,
       cloudy look. It's a unique look.''

       Gibson swears, too, that it is historically accurate that the Scottish army
       bared its genitals, en masse, to the enemy.

       ''Oh, yes, armies in those days did that before battle,'' he said. ''The
       script girls and costume girls all came out that day to watch the scene. I,
       for the record, was not in that line. I feel a little guilty about it --
       cheated a little.''

       Until age 12, Gibson lived in Peekskill, N.Y., one of 11 children. His
       father, Hutton, a railroad brakeman, was a staunch Catholic conservative who
       wrote religious pamphlets in his spare time, banned television in the home
       and preached the evils of drink and extramarital sex.

       In 1968, Hutton Gibson became a champion on the TV show ''Jeopardy!'' and
       used his winnings, plus money from a work-injury suit, to move his family to
       Australia. One of his motivations was to ensure that his older sons would
       not have to fight in Vietnam.

       Young Mel thought of becoming a priest. He worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken
       and, at the insistence of his sister, studied at the National Institute of
       Dramatic Art.

       His first movie was as a surfer-beach bum in ''Summer City.'' He was seen in
       the United States in 1979's ''Mad Max,'' but it was its sequel, ''The Road
       Warrior,'' that got him a wider American audience. Gibson has won Australian
       Film Awards for playing a retarded youth in ''Tim'' and a young World War I
       soldier in ''Gallipoli.''

       ''The River'' was his American debut. He played a farmer opposite Sissy
       Spacek.

       The three ''Lethal Weapon'' films, as well as ''The Year of Living
       Dangerously'' and ''Maverick,'' have established a successful record,
       allowing him to command $10 million a picture.

       Married for 15 years and the father of six, Gibson has an 800-acre ranch in
       Australia and a similar spread in Montana.

       Along the way, there have been rumors of too much tequila and beer. Gibson's
       reckless statements and wild behavior didn't get good press. In 1984, he was
       arrested for drunken driving in Toronto while filming ''Mrs. Soffel.'' Five
       years ago, a bar brawl in California made news. He joined Alcoholics
       Anonymous in 1991. His wife reportedly threatened to leave if he didn't.

       Today, Gibson is calmer than in previous interviews. Still, he is careful,
       keeping his distance even as he jokes. But for ''Braveheart,'' he's eager to
       talk.

       ''Not one person got seriously hurt,'' Gibson said, grinning broadly.
       ''That's something I was going for. We had fire and horses everywhere, but
       we were careful. I think there was one fractured ankle. That was the worst.
       No matter what else they say about it, they can't say I wasn't
       responsible.''
Mel Gibson, Hollywood, Australia, Images, William 
Wallace, Robert Bruce, Scotland, History, Braveheart, Edinburgh, King Arthur, kings, castles, 
Stirling, Bannockburn, Dalraida

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